What Is the Role of an Apprentice?


An apprentice learns the major responsibilities and targeted accomplishments of any given trade or art. Along with learning the trade or art, the apprentice must become familiar with the problems or issues that may arise when performing this art or trade, and deal with them accordingly. Apprenticeships may be physically or mentally strenuous and demanding.


  • Merriam-Webster defines an apprentice as someone who is “bound by indenture to serve another for a prescribed period with a view to learning an art or trade.” It also states an apprentice is “one who is learning by practical experience under a skilled worker in a trade, art or calling.” For this reason, it could be said the apprentice serves the master until she becomes fully skilled herself.


  • The apprentice may be required to work during a scheduled block of time when the master demonstrates on-the-job training to the apprentice. Once the apprentice has observed the master at work, the master then requires him to complete some of the same tasks of the art or trade. This may require some assessment in order for the apprentice to prove himself. In his role of apprentice, he might be required to log daily tasks and prepare a schedule to perform such tasks.

Personal Attributes

  • The novice in this role can offer attributes that will contribute to the success of the apprenticeship. He or she is flexible and is able to demonstrate a positive work ethic. The apprentice should exhibit honesty and trustworthiness, and deal with the public courteously and respectfully. In some trades, the apprentice must be culturally aware for a diverse group of clients.


  • In any given trade or art, the apprentice has the ability to operate the appropriate equipment and machinery. She is a team builder and has client service and public interaction skills. In her apprenticeship, she exhibits verbal communication and listening skills.


  • Apprentice wages vary greatly, as there are many trades and arts that have apprenticeship programs. In general, the apprentice should earn a portion of the wages the master would earn. The master and apprentice may agree on a set wage or the master may determine the wage to offer the apprentice. Wages may be paid by the hour, per on-the-job training session or for the duration of the apprenticeship.

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